Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

I’m afraid the letter that I wrote about in the previous post has not yet been obtained so it will have to wait for the time being.  Meanwhile, I thought I’d share with you an earlier successful snooping expedition.

My Grandpa’s house is a gold mine filled with old documents and photos.  He’s lived in the house all his life and this year he turned 90, so the house itself is certainly close to being 100 years old.  I love it!  Quickly sifting through an old biscuit tin reveals documents belonging to my Great Grandfather such as references or order forms.  Minute details of his life unravel before me and I could quite happily sit there all day sifting, sorting and absorbing everything.

On one particular day I was quietly looking through the drawers in the living room cabinet and recounting memories associated with various objects when I came across an interesting looking box.  My curiosity became highly aroused and I eagerly removed its protective cover and opened it.  I was enormously surprised to find that inside was a medal, and not just any medal, a medal commemorating the Gallipoli landing.  My mouth dropped open as reality dawned on me.  My Great Grandfather, Ernest Holt Flynn had fought in World War I and not only that, had somehow been involved in Gallipoli.  I’d had no idea.

The front of the Gallipoli medal.

The back of the Gallipoli medal.

The medal was issued in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli and only the survivors of Gallipoli and their next of kin were entitled to receive the medal.  Ernest had already passed away by this time and it was my Grandma who contacted the Department of Defence and received it on behalf of her father.

Note: It is possible that many medals have not been claimed.  If you are a descendent of someone involved in the Gallipoli landing and if the medal has not already been claimed, you may still be entitled to receive it.  Please visit the Department of Defence website (http://www.defence.gov.au/medals/) for more information.

How could I have not known about such a major part of my Great Grandfather’s life?  I found the medal not long after starting my family tree and I suppose my only excuse is that at that point I didn’t know much about any of my ancestors.  Nevertheless, I know now and I continue to make it my duty to know as much as possible.  The learning is endless and sometimes it takes a little snooping to discover an important clue and obtain new facts.

Happy snooping…err…searching!

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